After a brief hiatus Kim and Rickiare back with another challenge for adventurous cooks across the blogsphere.
This August has been a battle between humidity and hydration. In order to combat the water I lose over long runs and intense training sessions I’ve had to increase my intake of iced or chilled teas in the afternoon. For me, the perfect option is a tall glass of iced peppermint tea (although, I would love to give Ricki’s Ice Ginger Mint Tea Recipe
a try). When mint
was revealed as this month’s challenge ingredient I was excited to create a sweet and savory recipe to celebrate this versatile herb.
Although mint is known for its calming properties, there a few other ways to chill-out. Theories include eating spicy foods to encourage your body to sweat and therefore cool-off or consuming a frozen treat for a refreshing break from the heat. You can test both theories yourself with these mint recipes.
Indian Dahl with Mint Cilantro Chutney
When a colleague of mine brought jalapeno and ring of fire peppers from her garden I knew I had to find a way to use them to spice up my dish. I love gardeners.
Although I eat a high raw diet, lentils are a great addition to help me meet my nutritional needs during heavy training weeks. This recipe is quite simple but feel free to use your own favourite dahl in this dish.
1 tsp coconut oil (or whatever oil you’d like to use)
1 tsp mustard seed
2-3 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cup red lentils (rinsed)
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
In a small saucepan over med-high heat, warm your oil and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop for 30 seconds (cover with the lid so they don’t go everywhere). Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add the spices, water and lentils. Once the water boils reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the salt and lemon juice and cook for 5 more minutes. The lentils should be soft and creamy and the liquid should have evaporated completely. Serves 4.
Mint Cilantro Chutney
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 green onion
1 jalapeno, seeded
3 TBSP raw cashews
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 cup water
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth (you can use a blender or a food processor).
To assemble the stack: I dehydrated slices of a large tomato to intensify their flavour. You could also bake them in the oven or eat them fresh. Top the first slice of tomato with a few spoonfuls of dahl. Top the second slice of tomato with a few spoonfuls of chutney. Repeat.
To make sure cool heads prevail, I suggest you follow up this spicy dish with a rich, frozen dessert.
Frozen Mint Mojito Avocado Truffles
1 medium ripe avocado
1 cup raw cashew pieces
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
juice of 2 limes
pinch of sea salt
3 TBSP agave
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp mint extract
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth (in a blender or food processor). Transfer to a large bowl and allow to chill in your freezer until firm (1-2 hours). Using a small ice cream scoop (or a 2 TB measure) to portion out 18 truffles onto a large plate or tray. Return to the freezer to harden (1-2 hours).
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup cacao butter, melted
1 TBSP agave (at room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocao powder
In a bowl combine the melted oil, butter, agave and vanilla. Whisk in the cocao powder.
To assemble: Dip each frozen truffle in the bowl of melted chocolate coating. Return to the freezer to set the chocolate. This is a very thin coating. I actually dipped each truffle twice and the chocolate shell remained perfectly thin, allowing the mint flavour of the centre to be the star. Makes 18 truffles. Keep them in the freezer until ready to serve.
Serve to friends – or people you would like to have as friends 😉
What’s your favourite way too cool off? Do you go for spicy dishes or frozen treats on a hot day?